Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Up-Cycled Bottle

Over the last couple of weeks B has been experimenting with converting cool beer and wine bottles into drinking glasses and vases.  There are lots of tutorials on You Tube and Pinterest, but what we have found is that no one way seems to work consistently, and many of the suggested methods we could not get to work at all.  I am sure that there is much variation depending on thickness and type of bottle.  What follows here is a method that we have found works for us.

 To begin with B fashioned a homemade glass cutter.  It was really quite simple finding some scrap pieces in the barn, and then attaching a blade.  Using the vice grips to hold the blade in place allows us to adjust the width depending on the bottle size.

 Once he places the bottle on the cutter, he turns the bottle 8-10 times  in order to score the complete circumference where he wants the bottle to break.

Then comes the tricky part, and one that he tried a number of methods on, getting the bottle to break clean.  Take a lighter and gently heat the scored line in one or two areas.  You should hear a subtle pop where that glass expands and then with a gentle tap the rest should break away.  This process should not take too long, if you find that you are holding the lighter against an area for more than about 10 seconds, move it to another area.  If the glass gets too hot in one spot it tends to weaken and then crack down the bottle.

Once successfully broken, you need to do something with the sharp edge.  At this point use a super fine (400) wet or dry sandpaper.  Pour a little water on it and then buff the edge until it is smooth.  If the glass broke with  some divots it may take a little elbow grease to get all of the nooks and crannies, but it is well worth it.

What remains is a cool vase for fresh cut flowers, or a fun drinking glass and conversation piece for your next get together.

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